HOUSTON - As raging flood waters continue to claim lives and destroy property across the state of Colorado, a Houston doctor is doing what he can to help many of the victims recover.
Richard Bradley is the chief of the Division of EMS and Disaster Medicine at the UT Health Science Center at Houston.
He flew to Colorado on Friday with the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue.
KPRC Local 2 spoke by phone to Dr. Bradley while he was in the middle of the rescue and recovery efforts Monday morning.
"Folks have lost everything and they're coming to grips with what their life is going to be like now that they've lost their homes and their valuables," said Bradley.
He and his team are based at a local airport where many of the residents are delivered after they have been rescued by boat or helicopter.
"I've had a couple of patients I've been able to treat. To make sure they were stable to go on to the shelter," said Bradley. "It's heartbreaking. There's a lot of people who never expected this would happen to them. A lot of houses up in the hills. It's not like Texas where we live at a low level and we know when we get a lot of rain, the rain comes."
According to news reports out of Colorado, many roads and bridges have been destroyed since the flooding began last Wednesday.
The National Guard has conducted more than 400 helicopter rescues.
Bradley says he doesn't know how long he will be needed in Colorado, but he hopes to stay until his job is done. He describes residents as resilient. He says they have remained a remarkable spirit in spite of the deadly flooding.
"I've even seen one 90-year old lady who had been evacuated by helicopter and she had a smile that wouldn't leave her face," he said. "So these people from Colorado, this area, they're tough people and although this is a hard time I know they're going to come through it."
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